Roy Clarke Leggitt

Roy Clarke Leggitt

Privacy Level: Private with Public Biography and Family Tree (Yellow)
Major Roy Clarke C. Leggitt aka Young, Purdy, Smith
Born 1930s.
Ancestors ancestors
Brother of [private sister (1940s - unknown)] [half]
[children unknown]
Profile manager: Roy Clarke Leggitt private message [send private message]
Account confirmed 4 Dec 2012 | Roy Clarke's 302 contributions | 6 thank-yous received
Profile last modified 17 Jan 2020 | Created 4 Dec 2012
This page has been accessed 996 times.
Wiki Genealogist December 2014 Club 100 Honor Code Signatory GEDCOM Equipped DNA Tested Volunteer
[view badges]


This explaines why Roy claims his father is Ralph Leon Kirk:

Roy Leggitt's Brief DNA Genealogy

Roy was born on April 6th 1933 in Oklahoma City. His birth certificate lists him as Roy Clarke Leggitt and his mother as Clara Clark Leggitt. There was no father indicated. Counting Clara, her mother had seven children living at home in Berlin Oklahoma, the youngest being just two years old. His grandmother wanted to have Roy adopted but his great grandmother would not permit it.

Roy's grandmother did not like the name Roy because this was the suspected father's name. Since Roy was as cute as a jay bird, she called him Jay. However, when Jay was just eight months old it was arranged for Jay and Clara to move in with Sam and Bonnie Purdy who lived on a farm about 40 miles away. Clara acted as their housekeeper, accountant and driver. The first three years were non-eventful but by 1937 the dust bowl had ruined the Purdy crops and livestock.

They migrated to southern California. In 1939 when it was time for Jay to start school, he was enrolled as Samuel James "Jay" Purdy. Jay was raised thinking Clara was his sister. In the 1940 Federal Census they were listed as Jay and Clara Purdy along with Sam and Bonnie was their parents.

In December 1941 Clara eloped and married Chester Leonard Smith and they moved to Las Vegas. In the summer of 1942. Clara and Leonard went to court in Fresno and gained custody of Jay. At this time Bonnie told Jay that Clara was his mother, not his sister..

When Jay was about 10 years old his mother told Jay that Roy Alonzo Young was his real father and they were not married when he was born.

When school started Jay was enrolled in the fourth grade as Jay Clark Smith. Jay kept that name through school and the first three years in the United States Air Force. In 1955, just before he married Elaine Eveland, Jay officially changed his name back to Roy Clarke Leggitt.

In all the years Roy thought of reuniting with his Young family. However, in 1993 Roy Young died so Roy never met the man his mother had said was his biological father.

A few years later Roy did make contact with two of Roy Young's daughters in Central Point, Oregon. By then Roy and Darlene were full-time RVers and visited with the sisters on many occasions as they traveled up and down the west coast.

In the late nineties DNA became available to genealogists and Roy took four different tests but was never able to find any Young DNA matches. At those times Y-DNA was only available to trace male DNA and M-DNA to trace female DNA separately.

About 2015 autosomal DNA testing was developed and it allowed tracing full family DNA back about six generations. I took three autosomal DNA tests and each of them failed to produce any Young DNA matches. However, quite a few Kirk DNA matches were produced which didn't make sense at the time.

In 2018 Roy noted that the Berlin Township, Roger Mills County, Oklahoma cemetery where Roy Young and several of his ancestors were buried also have quite a few Kirks also buried there. He looked in the 1920 and 1930 Federal Census and found a Kirk family living just a few houses away from the Leggitt house. It was the George and Nora Kirk family. They had quite a few children with the three youngest boys being born in 1909, 1912 and 1915. His mother Clara was born in July 1916 so Harold, Claude or Ralph could be my biological father.

Further research revealed that Harold and Claude were both married in 1930 and 1931, leaving Ralph Leon Kirk the likely suspect. The closest autosomal DNA match was Faye Sawyer living in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She was listed as a half-sibling.. Roy attempted to contact her with email but for many months he didn't receive a respond. In early 2019 Roy found the obituary for Ralph Leon Kirk in the Tuscaloosa, Alabama newspaper. The obituary listed Faye Kirk Sawyer living in Tulsa, Oklahoma as his surviving daughter.

Bingo!! Roy just found his father. It appears that 15 year old Clara Leggitt, in addition to having a relationship with Roy Alonzo Young, she must have had a relation with her 15 year old neighbor Ralph Leon Kirk. Roy made contact with several of Faye's DNA cousins who might be able to confirm the relationship positively.

The drama continues!


  • First-hand information. Entered by Roy Leggitt at registration.

Early Life:

Roy was born during the Great Depression just at the beginning of the Oklahoma dust bowl His parents were not married.

(In 1994, Mae Leggitt Finney related a story whereas there had been consideration by Inez Hussey Leggitt, Roy's grandmother, of placing him up for adoption shortly after his birth. His great grandmother Elizabeth Capps Hussey put an end to that by stating there would be no adoption of any of her great grandchildren.) His grandmother, who didn't like the name Roy, called him Jay.

In January 1934 his mother and he moved in with the Samuel Purdy family in Carter, Oklahoma. Clara worked as their housekeeper and finished high school there in 1936. By 1937 the Purdy family could no longer support themselves in Oklahoma because of the severity of the dust bowl. In September 1937 they migrated to southern California.

Roy went to first through third grade as Samuel James (Jay) Purdy. After his mother's marriage in 1941 to Leonard Smith, without adoption, his name was changed to Jay Clark Smith. He went to 17 grammar schools and four high schools, graduating from Modesto High School, CA, in 1951. Roy worked as a janitor, shoe salesman, operating engineer, and carpenter until joining the United States Air Force in November, 1952. During that period he and his family lived in Nevada, central, and southern California.

Military Life:

Roy joined the United States Air Force 26 November 1952. He served as an enlisted ground radio operator and attained the rank of staff sergeant. Just prior to his marriage in 1955 Roy changed his name from Jay Clark Smith back to his legal birth name, Roy Clarke Leggitt.

Upon completion of officer candidate school he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1959. He served as a communications officer and later as a communications-electronics staff officer.

Roy attended night college courses until he was able to complete his two final semesters at the Alaska Methodist University. He was awarded a Bachelor of Arts in Natural Sciences (Magna Cum Laude) in 1965. In 1969 Roy completed his Masters of Science in Information Sciences degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

During his tour with the USAF, Roy was stationed in California, Mississippi, Japan, Iwo Jima, Iowa, New Mexico, Azores, Texas, Mississippi, Shemya Island, Alaska, Mississippi, Iowa, Georgia, Belgium, and Oklahoma. Roy retired from USAF as a major on 31 August 1974.

For a more detailed description of Roy's military service, go to the Internet and select

Post Military Life:

Two days after retiring from the USAF Roy began working with NCR Corporation in San Diego as a software quality analyst and later as a programmer analyst. He worked primarily in telecommunications programming.

In 1976 he became bored with his job and obtained his real estate sales license. He worked mostly in the Poway, California area. While working there he met his future wife-to-be, Darlene.

In 1978 he went back to NCR as a senior software quality analyst and later as a consulting analyst.

After their children were grown, Roy and his wife of nearly 28 years grew apart and divorced in 1983.

In 1984 Roy changed over from the commercial side to the defense industry side of software quality engineering with the Cubic Defense Corporation in San Diego. He worked as a software quality engineer and later as a software quality engineering technical specialist. Again, his specialty was in telecommunications programming.

In 1987 Roy married his present wife Darlene.

His aim for several years was to retire when he reached 59 1/2 years of age. On schedule, Roy retired in October 1992.

Retirement Years:

Roy now pursues genealogy as his principle pastime. After his wife Darlene retired a day after her fifty-fith birthday in 1996 they spent a considerable amount of time each year touring America in their recreational vehicle from their home base in San Diego. In January 1997, after they decided they enjoyed RVing so much, they sold their house in San Diego, bought a new diesel powered 37' Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE, and became full time RVers. Darlene drives and Roy navigates. Using his laptop computer and a two-way DirecWay satellite Internet connection, Roy still pursues his online genealogical quest.

They spend their winters on the Colorado River near Parker, Arizona. Starting in early spring and continuing through late fall they travel to a selected area of the United States. They try to visit family and friends in central Nevada and southern California twice a year. By the end of 1997 they had traveled to each of the contiguous 48 states and in early 1998 ventured down into Mexico.

They still have the traveling bug. In June 2002 they upgraded their home-on-wheels to a new, custom built 2002 41' Monaco Windsor diesel pusher with three slide out compartments. Darlene still does all the driving.

In January 2008, after eleven years on the road, Roy and Darlene purchased a nice RV lot in a co-op RV park about four miles south of Florence, Arizona. They plan on spending from mid-October to mid-April there traveling to cooler places during the summer. To see our new RV homebase, look at

Great Adventure:

To read about some of their great adventures, go to

More Genealogy Tools

Only the Trusted List can access the following:
  • Roy Clarke's formal name
  • full middle name (C.)
  • nicknames
  • e-mail address
  • exact birthdate
  • birth location
  • images (1)
  • private siblings' names
For access to Roy Clarke Leggitt's full information you must be on Roy Clarke's Trusted List. Please login. See the Contact section of the Tree & Tools page.

Sponsored Search

Followed Tags
Roy Clarke is a Wiki Genealogy Volunteer following these tags:
Lucy Graham Capps
Paternal mother's line.
DNA Tested
Roy Clarke Leggitt's DNA has been tested for genealogical purposes. It may be possible to confirm family relationships by comparing test results with Roy Clarke or other carriers of his ancestors' Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA. Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree:
  • Roy Clarke Leggitt: Family Tree DNA Y-DNA Test 37 markers, haplogroup R1b1a2, FTDNA kit #251304
It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Roy Clarke:

Have you taken a DNA test? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Comments: 4

Leave a message for others who see this profile. If you prefer to keep it private, send a private message to the profile manager. private message
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.
Hi Roy :) I noticed you uploaded a GEDCOM. Here's a link to a great step-by-step of our GEDCOM import process including screenshots that you might find helpful. You might also want to check out our Before You Import a GEDCOM help page. Feel free to message me if you have any questions!
posted by Eowyn Langholf
Hi Roy. Welcome to WikiTree.
posted by Chris Whitten
I agree to help as I can.
posted by Roy Clarke Leggitt
Welcome to WikiTree, Roy! We're glad to have you here. What are your family history interests?

If you decide you'd like to link your ancestors to our shared tree, read the Honor Code, and then choose that you'd like to volunteer. One of the greeters would be glad to confirm your intention to become a WikiGenealogist.

If you need any help getting started, check out the Help section, or visit the G2G forum.

posted by Erin Breen

Roy Clarke is 20 degrees from Katie Goodwin, 20 degrees from Wilbur Scoville and 18 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

L  >  Leggitt  >  Roy Clarke Leggitt